A New Ghost Story: The Haunting of Bly Manor

The Haunting of Bly Manor is a Netflix original horror series that premiered Oct. 9th.
The show mainly revolves around an eerie and dark ghost story retelling.

However, it’s not to be mistaken with the Haunting of Hill House, which is akin to the Haunting of Bly Manor in many ways. The Haunting of Hill House came to Netflix in Oct. 2018. Though both were written and created by Mike Flanagan, and much of the cast is the same for both shows, the Haunting of Bly Manor creates a subtler, sadder story.

The story opens at a wedding reception where a group of invitees gather. A woman in the group begins to spin a “ghost story.” This ghost story is the main focus of the series and involves an au pair taking care of two recently orphaned children in a large manor in the English countryside.

Not unlike its counterpart, which was developed under the same director, the drama involves supernatural beings, themes like loss of innocence and family, and an extraordinarily creepy property. However, the Haunting of Bly Manor seems to resonate more heavily with me due to its redeeming theme of love and loss.

Many horror stories lose their charm with jump scares, gore, and overdramatization. The Haunting of Bly Manor was able to stay true to its chilling core through the entirety of the 9 episodes. It was also an easy watch because it had 9 episodes so I was not making a big commitment by starting the season.

In time for Halloween, the Haunting of Bly Manor satiates the need for scares and while also telling a heartbreaking story. Also, due to COVID, watching a TV series inside on Halloween could be a fun way to enjoy the ghostly atmosphere of the holiday.